I could not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presented danger, the solution was ignorance. To me, it always seemed that the solution had to be wisdom. You did not refuse to look at danger, rather you learned how to handle it safely.
--- Isaac Asimov
A HR director told me the other day, “The digital age is the wrong period for me, as I’m an empath—I love people.”
“Actually, the digital age may be the best possible period for you or anyone else who truly listens,” I responded, “as people like you are in such short supply that many others feel a gravitation pull to talk about their lives with you.”
She thought for a moment and then nodded, “Yes, I suppose that’s true.”
If you are visiting a family and they invite you to stay for dinner, instead of refusing as you usually do because you want to return home and check your online dating profiles and see who has swiped right on your profile, accept the invitation and hang out with them.
The conversation may open up avenues both cognitive (new ways of thinking about what you are looking for in a relationship) and social (you may become closer with them, and they may even have a friend to introduce you to at some point) in your life.
If you can do what your smartphone-addled peers are unable to do—stop and truly listen—the social opportunities available to you will be rich and unparalleled.
Make the decision to slow down to the speed of real, digitally-unmediated life and you will be joyfully surprised to find that your relationships become more vital and meaningful. The more you fill your life with the right people, the more likely you are to meet the right person.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Center for Social Leadership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week, enter your email here (1-step only). To support The Center for Social Leadership's Young Leaders Program for disadvantaged youth either directly or through Amazon.com purchases, click here.